Davids’ Big Island Mauna Lani Real Estate

January 10, 2009

Mauna Lani Resort-Maybe Some Things You Didn’t Know?

Filed under: Updates — hisadmin @ 4:46 pm

I am writing my first, and God forbid, not my last blog. As any beginner, I am excited and also have mixed emotions, as I am anxious to get off on the right foot. I’ve been reading and commenting on blogs for years, but now my head’s the one on the chopping block.

That being said, I wanted to get my feet wet by sharing some factual data that you may or may not know about the Mauna Lani Bay Resort.  It’s always good to refresh one’s memory with useful information to impart to clients, friends, and family members.  As licensed agents, we usually have a great deal of knowledge to offer.  So here goes.

The Mauna Lani Resort sits oceanfront on the finest stretch of shoreline on the Kohala Coast of the Big Island of Hawai’i. Located 23 miles north of the Kona International Airport, this oceanfront resort features the luxurious Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows, Mauna Lani Spa and the Francis H. I’i Brown Golf Courses. www.maunalani.com

Here are a few interesting tidbits that reflect why Mauna Lani Bay Resort stands way above most resort destination properties? Pay attention, as this information just may help you win your next game of Hawaiian Trivial Pursuit:

  • CONDÉ NAST TRAVELER Gold List, Best Places in the World to Stay: Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and Bungalows is ranked in the Top 10 in Hawaii and #2 on the Big Island of Hawaii, Jan 2009.
  • 2009 TRAVEL + LEISURE – The World’s Best Hotels Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and Bungalows is ranked #2 on the Big Island and #8 in Hawaii by Travel + Leisure magazine’s T + L 500 List, Jan 2009.
  • 2009 GOLF WORLD TOP 50 and 2009 Reader’s Choice Award: Golf World unveils its first “Best Golf Facilities in the Country.”

Mauna Lani Bay Resort has been named one of the”World’s Top Earth Friendly Getaways” by Conde Nast Traveler magazine and is the only beach resort in the United States named in the collection.  Mauna Lani’s solar energy innovations have earned the resort the distinction of generating the most solar electric power of any luxury resort in the world. Go green!

Did you know that the golf water system for Mauna Lani Resort’s Francis H. I’i Brown Golf Courses pumps more than 3 million gallons of brackish water per day and waters 38 golf holes? During peak hours ,a large amount of the electricity required by the golf operation is provided by solar power. These solar systems spare the environment from thousands of tons of harmful emissions (NOx, SOx and CO2).

Condé Nast Traveler also recognized Mauna Lani Resort’s green sea turtle program as an eco-tourism attraction. Since 1989, in collaboration with Oahu’s Sea Life Park by Dolphin Discovery, Mauna Lani Resort has raised juvenile honus (turtles) in its saltwater ponds until they are large enough to be released in the wild.

Mauna Lani was also the recipient of the Green Business Award from the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii, the Hawaii Hotel Association, the Hawaii Department of Business Economic Development and Tourism, and the Hawaii Department of Health. The resort also won the Keep It Hawaii Kahili Award for their Kalahuipua‘a Fishponds in the category of Historic Preservation.

Well, there you have it; enough news to keep your brains working.  I have noticed that buyers do want to know why one resort property is better than another. For instance, Mauna Kea Resort has been getting much of the news  releases  lately with their December 2008 soft reopening after renovations for damages from the October 2006 earthquake: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/hawaii/detail?&entry_id=33536

Final thoughts: Many opinions and emotions exist about 2009 real estate futures in Hawaii and on the mainland.  The state of the economy is forcing most novice investors out of the market due to the perceived dangers.  Savvy investors are picking up properties which they want to own for the long term.  During any recession, the key to investing is managing risk. Warren Buffet lives by his words, “Be fearful when people are greedy and greedy when people are fearful.” Stay tuned for David’s 2009 Big Island Predictions in my next post, “Escrow or Bust”!

Thanks for your interest. Comments are welcome!



January 9, 2009

Aloha from David in Paradise….

Filed under: Updates — hisadmin @ 5:26 pm

Aloha and welcome to my new blog, part of the Aloha Living Blog Network. I am very excited to be blogging for my first leap into the blog world.  I trust you too will look forward to my sharing with you both a professional and personal perspective on real estate on the Kohala Coast on the Big Island.  

April 25, 2008

Adjusting to a Buyer’s Market

Filed under: Updates — hisadmin @ 1:56 pm

If you are contemplating Buying or Selling property in today’s Big Island resort market, there are some things you need to consider. First of all, you need to acknowledge that it is a Buyer’s market. In some segments of the market, the prices have moved downward significantly and in other segments the prices are holding steady or down slightly. So, it can be a little bit confusing. What really makes this a Buyer’s market is the financing situation. Lenders are under extreme scrutiny and only the most qualified prospects can even get a loan. Also, only the most properly priced properties will qualify for a loan – the appraisal will be put under the microscope (maybe more than once) before the lender will agree to release funds. Factor in a Buyer’s natural desire for a “deal” and a Seller’s natural desire for maximum cash out of her property and you have a formula for fireworks or frustration – maybe both! So here are some suggestions for your consideration.

Mr. Seller, if you don’t have to sell right now, don’t! One of the contributing factors to the Buyer’s market is an excess of inventory.

Ms. Seller, if you need to sell now, price it right from the get-go! Depending on what you own and when you bought it, this might entail a significant loss. However, you will only be asking for frustration if you try to “test” the market by pricing high and hoping to negotiate after you have an offer. You won’t get any offers. All you will get is ignored. As an example, at one of the resorts there is a 15 month supply of two bedroom condos listed for sale. At another resort, there is nearly a two and a half year supply of two bedroom condos listed. With this kind of excess inventory, the Buyer’s inclination will be to start looking at the bottom of the price range for his purchase. And, if you were buying instead of selling, you’d do the same thing! So, take your medicine and price it right!

Mr. Seller don’t think your exquisite furnishings make your property worth more than a similar one with less appealing furniture. In the best, hottest, most spectacular Seller’s market the lenders are not keen on doing a 30 year loan on furniture of any kind. In this market, if the lender suspects that furniture plays a role in the agreed sales price, it is likely to discount the requested loan amount or deny the loan entirely.

Ms. Seller, when picking an agent to represent you, if the agent is telling you things that you don’t want to hear, you probably should choose her. She’s being honest and, most likely knows what she is talking about. Only the most realistic Sellers are able to sell their properties in today’s market.

Mr. Buyer, if you think the market hasn’t “bottomed out” yet, don’t even begin looking for property. If you are right, you’ll have saved yourself and your prospective agent a lot of time. If you are wrong, you’ll know soon enough!

Ms. Buyer, please be realistic in your expectations. If the property you are interested in is priced at what a similar property sold for recently, it is unlikely that you will pay significantly less than the previous sales price. Bear in mind that you can pay full price and still get a great value in today’s market, if the property is priced right.

Mr. Buyer, trust your agent. He knows you are afraid of paying too much for your property. He knows the market and where to get the best value in your price range.

Ms. Buyer, if you’re not confident in your agent’s opinion, you can still relax. Your lender won’t let you pay to much for a property today! If you inadvertently offer more than a property is worth, there are exactly three chances of the appraisal coming in at the agreed price – they are slim chance, fat chance and no chance!

That’s all for today. As always, your comments/observations are welcome!

Robert D. “Bob” Hudspeth R(S)
Coldwell Banker Maryl Realty at The Shops at Mauna Lani
(808) 989-1958 Cellular

March 15, 2008

Fractional(e) Rationale

Filed under: Updates — hisadmin @ 12:02 pm

I want to thank Mike and Rick for giving me the rationale for writing this post. Their comments bring up some interesting points. Fractional ownership is a shared ownership situation that is delineated by a time period or season of the year. A typical fractional ownership would be for a two month block of time. The price is determined by the time of year. For instance, the Christmas season anywhere or ski season in Vail would command a premium price.

I’ll start by answering Mike’s question. No, at this time, there is nothing in the resort documents that prevents fractional ownership. Time-share – fractional’s kissin’ cousin – is, however, forbidden. Vacation clubs are also permitted in the resort but individual communities within the resort are free to permit or forbid their presence and they have. More on this later.

Rick is correct to bring up the Advantage Program because it is pertinent when discussing fractional ownership. First of all, Advantage Program participation is limited to owners that have at least a one third interest in a property. So, three equal owners of a property could all participate in the Advantage Program. You must produce a deed to prove your percentage of ownership and thus qualify for participation in the program. Now, here is where it gets tricky. Each of the three “owners” above could be a partnership – partnerships, businesses, trusts and individuals can all be owners – and each qualified ownership interest can have five individuals participating in the Advantage Program. It is therefore conceivable that as many as 15 people could qualify for participation in the program from ownership interest in one property. Please note that this precludes members in a vacation club because the ownership isn’t structured that way.

I’m pretty sure that Mauna Lani Resort does not limit the number of owners for a property. For instance, twelve entities could be on a deed with one entity having a one third interest and the other eleven having each having approximately a six percent interest. All would be owners but only one could participate (five individuals max) in the Advantage Program. This is probably a big deal to a fractional owner. As I understand it, unlike the usual multiple ownership where all parties and their percentages of interest appear on one deed, fractional ownership involves multiple deeds. Each of these deeds is transferrable so one fractional owner can sell his interest without consultation with or permission of the other owners. So let’s pretend that we have a situation where six families have each purchased a two month interest in a property. Each family would have a one sixth interest and none would qualify for the Advantage Program. Please note that, in this example, even if all of the owners were on one deed none of them would be able to participate because none would have the required one third interest. Now, suppose that two of the families, each with two children, decide to combine their ownership in a way that would give them a one third interest and thus qualify them for participation in the program, three of the family members would be left out because only five persons from each ownership entity can participate.

I have some other thoughts on fractional ownership but those will have to wait for another day. I’ll close by encouraging you to consult the Advantage Program administrators before structuring your ownership. Then, go out and enjoy this fabulous resort!

Robert D. “Bob” Hudspeth R(S)
Coldwell Banker Maryl Realty at The Shops at Mauna Lani
(808) 989-1958 Cell

March 13, 2008

Mauna Lani Resort – Expert or Fan?

Filed under: Updates — hisadmin @ 2:15 pm

I was chosen to write this blog on Mauna Lani Resort and immediately became an expert – I mean, surely they wouldn’t let anyone but an expert write about the resort, right? Well, I’m a little uncomfortable with that perception. I’d be surprised if you could find a true expert on Mauna Lani – there is just too much to keep track of. Let me see, there are two resort hotels, two golf courses, seventeen residential living options – including condos and single family homes, the Advantage Program, the Beach Club, the Spa, The Shops…..you get the idea – there’s a lot of stuff! I’ll be exploring the resort in the months to come and I’ll attempt to give you a feel for what it’s like but I must warn you that the information won’t be objective. It can’t be because I’m not objective, I’m biased. I admit it, I’m a blatant and unapologetic fan of Mauna Lani!

Since I brought up the fact that I am biased, let me start off by addressing one of my pet peeves. It is the media reporting on the current real estate market. It is, for the most part, misleading. Right now our market is pretty bland. Properties are selling, the bottom is not dropping out of the market despite what you might read in the headlines. A recent newspaper article, reporting on market performance for the Big Island as a whole, indicated that the median price for homes went up in 2007. I promise you that, if you had read all of the real estate articles in the same paper for all of 2007, you’d be asking yourself “How can that be?” Most of the reporting has been of the “gloom and doom” variety. Apparently, “gloom and doom” sells papers – accuracy, not so much. What has happened is that the market has slowed, the number of sales is way down pretty much across the board. But a slower market doesn’t mean it is a bad market – it’s just not as energetic.

Some Buyers are showing up, having read all of the newspaper articles and seen all the reports from the “talking heads,” ready to make a killing in Hawaii real estate. Then they find out that there aren’t hordes of Sellers desperate to give away their properties. When they figure that out they’re not quite sure what to do. What they need to do is find the best “value” instead of looking for the best “deal.” There are a lot of “value” posibilities in this market and a good real estate agent will be happy to help you find them. But the Buyers must act in order to secure the “value.” And everyone needs to remember that greed is the big “deal killer.” Some people feel the “best deal” is the one where they get everything they want and the other party caves in on every issue. It has been said the “best deal” is the one where neither party is completely happy at the conclusion. Actually, I think there is something to be said for the “best deal” being the one that gets done!

As we progress, I’ll get into market trends, property profiles, restaurant reviews, you name it – and, in fact, I wish you would. Please give me your questions and suggestions. I’ll try to answer the questions – my research will make me more of an “expert” – and comment on the things that are important to you.

Robert D. “Bob” Hudspeth R(S)
Coldwell Banker Maryl Realty at The Shops at Mauna Lani
(808) 989-1958 Cellular